What if Tiger Hit Fairways


I know, I know, he does hit his fair share of fairways. But the number is just fair. On Thursday at the Nissan Open, Woods opened with 69 and hit 8 fairways. Granted, he was fighting a fever. But weve come to expect him fighting his swing on the tee.
Tiger Woods is the best player in the world. Period. Hes also the best competitor in the world. Bar none.
And thats exactly why Tiger Woods is two for two and more than able to win at the Nissan Open for the first time in this his ninth attempt - without acting like Fred Funk off the tee.
The numbers are numbing to look at. And a breakdown makes you scratch your head in amazement.
Tiger has played one event (Buick Invitational) on the PGA Tour this year. He hit 46.4% of the fairways for the week. From that point he hit 73.6% of the greens and posted a scoring average of 68.84 for the four rounds. He won in a playoff.
In 2005, Tiger hit 54.6% of the fairways for the year which ranked 188th on the PGA Tour. He hit 69.9% of the greens to rank sixth. Thats right ' sixth. He led the PGA Tour in Birdie Average and Scoring Average.
In 2004, Tiger hit 56.1% of the fairways to rank 182nd. He hit 66.9% of the greens to rank 47th. He was second on the PGA Tour in Birdie Average and third in Scoring Average.
In 2003 and 2002 dating back, Tigers driving accuracy numbers were better.
In 2003, Tiger hit 62.7% of the fairways and ranked 142nd on the PGA Tour and hit 68.6% of the greens to rank 26th.
In 2002, Woods was better yet off the tee. He hit 67.5% of the fairways to rank 107th and 74% of the greens which was the best on the PGA Tour.
Think about this. how would any other player score day-to-day having to play from Tigers resting spot off the tee? Not well. Not like Tiger.
Tiger, like no other player, can make greatness from mediocrity. He is a master of troubleshooting. He is the ultimate shotmaker. He is simply the greatest at the art of getting the ball in the hole.
So what would happen if Tiger hit the 76% of the fairways that 2005 leader Jeff Hart hit? As it was, Tiger finished first in Birdie Average, first in Scoring Average and first in the All-Around Statistic.
Would he win 10 times? Would he win 15 times? I dont know but I could certainly guess. How many more majors would he have? Would he have won last years U.S. Open or the PGA Championship? I dont know but I could certainly guess.
Ive sat at my desk watching PGA Tour golf at the Golf Channel for 11 years now and continue to hear people shout, Can Tiger hit a fairway?!!
The statistics say he doesnt need to. His trophy case says he doesnt need to.
It seems that if youre the best in the world, you should be better off the tee than Woods is. Right? Am I asking too much?
I wish he was better. Im sure he does too. Hes never satisfied.
Maybe Ill never be satisfied. But as much as I admire the skills that only he possesses, Id love to see how a year would shake out with Woods at the top of the Driving Accuracy statistic.
Wouldnt you?
Email your thoughts to Kraig Kann